June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.831.1 - 12.831.16
Implementation of a MEMS Laboratory Course with Multidisciplinary Team Projects
This paper presents the implementation and outcomes of a hands-on laboratory course in microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), co-developed by a multidisciplinary team of faculty from mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and materials engineering. Central to the design of the course is an emphasis on implementing modules that are able to overcome critical barriers related to (1) diverse academic background from different majors and (2) practical limitations in microfabrication facilities. These points are vital for promoting MEMS education, because they expand the student pool and reach audiences that need a cost-effective way to support instructional laboratory experiences in MEMS without the broader infrastructure that is often limited only to large research institutions.
Laboratory projects emphasize skills in design, fabrication, and testing, while a classroom lecture portion of the course provides corresponding background theory. The paper provides technical description of three modular projects that have been implemented in the course. These encompass a variety of MEMS fabrication approaches, including surface micromachining, bulk micromachining, and soft lithography. These distinct methods are exercised in three corresponding devices: a silicon pressure sensor, an aluminum suspended beam, and a polymer microfluidic chip. These projects illustrate principles and reinforce student learning of important phenomena commonly involved in MEMS, such as piezoresistivity, electrostatics, stiction, residual stress, and electrokinetics. The modules are arranged with different levels of emphasis among design, fabrication, and testing, to reach higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy while simultaneously balancing time and resource constraints in a practical manner. Feedback from student opinions and plans for improvement are also presented.
The multidisciplinary subject of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) requires a broad range of background knowledge and skills. MEMS engineering demands important contributions from the fields of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, materials engineering, and other disciplines. In an effort to make hands-on MEMS education more accessible to engineering students, a new laboratory course has been developed and instituted at San José State University, built upon a framework reported previously. This framework addresses two critical barriers that limit effective learning in MEMS: (1) different course pre- requisite background for students coming from a broad range of academic majors, and (2) prohibitive overhead in terms of facilities, cost, and time for microscale prototyping and fabrication. The problem of mixed background knowledge is addressed by assembling student teams such that the members collectively satisfy specific functional pre-requisites, even though they come with a wide variety of prior course backgrounds. The problem of limited design freedom under practical constraints is addressed by using lower-resolution geometric design rules and standardized processes that facilitate semi-custom design.
Lee, J., & Gleixner, S., & Hsu, T., & Parent, D. (2007, June), Implementation Of A Mems Laboratory Course With Modular, Multidisciplinary Team Projects Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2357
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